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Speech at the seminar "Sino-Nordic Relations: Opportunities and the Way Ahead" By the Chinese Ambassador Chen Yuming
2016/11/12
 
Mr. Niklas Swanström,
Distinguished guests, 

Today is November 11th. It is a date that has different meanings for people from China and the Nordics. For Chinese people, the four 'ones' means the group of singles, while for the Nordic peoples these two pairs of 'ones' reflect the companionship.
The "Double Eleven" of companionship is the epitome of the development of the Sino-Nordic relationship. The foundation of friendly Sino-Nordic collaboration is both profound and strong. Sixty-five years have passed since diplomatic relations were established, and there has been a rapid development during the past decade. In recent years, there have been many high level visits between China and the Nordics. Consequently, a comprehensive strategic partnership has been built between China and Denmark, a new type of partnership for the future has been formed between China and Finland, a Free Trade Agreement and a Currency Swap Agreement have been signed between China and Iceland, and collaboration in different fields between China and Sweden gains momentum. The Sino-Nordic Young Champions Forum, the Innovation Summit, the Arctic Research Centre, the Round-Table Think-Tank Conference and the Joint Law Enforcement Consultation have been constantly adding new energy into the Sino-Nordic relationship. The first visit of the Chinese Navy Fleet has opened a new page in the history of bilateral ties. As the "bedrock" of the bilateral relationship, economic and trade collaboration has been making steady and smooth progress. According to statistics from the Nordic Council, China is the biggest import market for Nordic countries, and the second largest export market for the Nordic countries, after the European Union. 
Two pairs of 'ones' imply the profound potential of Sino-Nordic regional collaboration. As the global climate is changing, and China is making great efforts to build a green economy and eco-civilization, the low-carbon development model and the concept of sustainable city development can provide with a reference for the urbanisation in China. In the field of innovation, the Nordic countries are outstanding and unique, which is perfectly in line with two major Chinese orientations - encouraging business and driving innovation. The advanced manufacturing can also be related to the strategy of 'Made in China 2025'. In the field of arctic science research, the collaboration has just begun. In the field of social governance there are many common issues to address including anticorruption, social security and the aging society. The expanding market, as well as the strong infrastructure building capacity of China caters to the demand of the Nordic countries that are seeking market and infrastructure collaboration. All of the Nordic countries are founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. And within the framework of the Belt and Road initiatives, there is a bright prospect for bilateral collaboration in different industries, including investment and infrastructure. The collaboration looks even more promising for cultural exchange and education. 
Sino-Nordic collaboration is not only the companionship of six 'ones' but also can be the collaboration of nine 'ones. A collaboration, and also multi-faceted wins, where many sides can participate and benefit. The Nordics has some of the highest levels of integration and coordination, the Nordic Council and the Nordic Ministers Council can also make a contribution to the collaboration between the Nordics and China. Some Chinese scholars have put forward the suggestion that the '16+1' cooperation framework between China and Central Europe should be used as a reference to build the China-Nordic '5+1' cooperation. This year, the Nordic Council has also made the decision to explore the ties between Nordics and China. Therefore, there are new opportunities awaiting Sino-Nordic regional collaboration. 
I sincerely hope that the experts attending today's meeting will freely express their opinions and explore innovative forms and ideas of mutual benefit for the Sino-Nordic collaboration.
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